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Frequently Asked Questions that all students should consider about summer and/or J-Term (winter session) courses

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Why should students consider taking a summer class (or two or more)?

A. Summer Session will move you towards graduation ... Summer Session at UW provides students a wide array of options to continue to earn credits over the summer months via compressed learning opportunities.  Summer classes typically vary in length from 2-6 week*, with the majority of undergraduate courses lasting 3 or 4 weeks.  Statistically, students who've taken UW summer courses have significantly higher retention and graduation rates than students who do not take UW summer courses!  Students utilize summer session in a variety of ways for a variety of reasons;  to CATCH UP on their academic plans or assist their GPA after dropping or performing poorly in a particular class, or to gain credits in a major after a change of major or transferring into UW, to GET AHEAD in one academic program to facilitate participation in another academic program (second major, minor, semester abroad, etc...), to participate in one of the 30+ summer international travel courses, to take a class offered only in the summer by a faculty member you enjoy or want to learn from, to HAVE FUN and enjoy the wonderful summer weather Laramie has to offer ... the reasons are endless to THINK SUMMER!

Q.  What are the dates for the various summer sessions this upcoming summer?

A.  Summer session 2021 begins on May 24, 2021 and will end on August 13, 2021.  Three-week and four-week courses begin May 24th, June 21st, and July 19th and many more course opportunities exist.  Please view the SUMMER 2021 COURSE SCHEDULE for course specifics.

The Web version of the Summer Bulletin is based on the current information available. Updated course information (additions, changes, cancellations) replaces the original material as it is requested by departments. This type of document ensures current and prospective students, faculty and staff that they are receiving the most current information regarding the courses offered at the university.

 Q.  Does UW offer any on-line summer courses?

A.  YES!  UW offers a number of on-line and other distance delivery courses in the summer.  Please remember to search for classes utilizing Outreach Credit Programs when selecting campus to view the various options.

 Q.  Are UW summer courses easier or harder than regular semester UW courses?

A. Summer courses are the exact same course as their spring/fall counterparts, with the difference being they are offered in a compressed time-frame.  You get the same exact number of contact minutes (sometimes more) as a regular semester course but instead of the course lasting for 15 weeks ... you complete the course in 3 - 6 weeks (depending on the specific course.  This translates to having class every day (M-F) for extended periods of time (up to 3 hrs. or more) and corresponding homework, projects, papers, etc... One way to look at the course is a full-time (plus overtime) job for 3 - 6 weeks (depending on the course) ... you have up to, or more than three hours a day (M-F) of lecture and that much time, or more than, of assignments / homework.  You should also expect to utilize time on the weekends ... but in a relatively short time you can earn 3-4 credit hours, fulfill a pre-requisite or requirement,  strengthen your GPA, and move forward towards graduation!

Students normally take one course at a time in the summer due to their rigor and pace but opportunities are available to complete multiple courses in the summer if a student might be interested.

Q.  Is the summer considered an academic semester for the purpose of probation/suspension status / for financial aid / etc...

A.  YES,  summer session at UW is treated as an academic semester with regards to a students GPA, their academic status (i.e. you can be academically suspended from UW if you summer grades result in you falling below the academic criteria of UW or your College or Department), and their financial aid eligibility (your financial aid can be affected based on your summer academic performance as well as what forms of aid you receive and/or utilize to pay for your summer course(s).  Therefore;  all students are strongly advised to consult with (1) their academic advisor(s) with regards to their academic status (2) the Student Financial Aid office with regards to their financial aid eligibility.

Q.  When do I need to register for summer classes?

A.  Registration for Summer Session courses opens in March ... continuing students can register for courses begining on these dates and up until the date(s) the actual course begins ... we do advise students to register as early as possible as many courses fill quickly!S

Q. How does J-Term (Winter Session) work?

A. J-Term (Winter Session) courses are courses that begin after the end of the Fall semester and usually end immediately prior to the spring semester.  J-Term (Winter Session) courses will reflect on a transcript as a spring courses and are part of total spring credits hours.  Tuition is charged at the tradisional tuition rates and will included a $25 per credit hour delivery fee. Course formats include online, hybrid, face-to-face, Wyoming based field and international travel courses.  Students attending hybrid or face-to-face courses will need to secure their own lodging or connect with the Residence Halls to purchase a winter contract for living accomodations.  Wyoming based field and International travel courses may incur additional costs and students interested in these opportunities should contact the instructor for additional details.  Due to the compressed time period of J-Term (Winter Session), students must be very motivated and have the ability to produce significant course work n a short amount of time.  

Q.  If I plan my schedule correctly - I shouldn't "need" to take summer session or J-Term (winter session) courses --- right?

A.  Maybe ... possibly ... hopefully!  But if things change --- you have to drop a fall or spring class, or you want to repeat a course, or you decide to add a second major, or you want to take a course only offered in the summer, or you want to take advantage of a summer international travel course, or for what ever reason ... we offer over 500 in-class, in the field, in a different country or on-line courses every summer!

Contact Us

UW Summer Session

1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3106

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-6559

Toll Free: (800) 448-7801


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